Can We Shape Trait Professional Skepticism through University Accounting Programs? Evidence from Polish University

Maciej Ciołek , Izabela Emerling


This paper examines whether it is possible to shape trait professional skepticism of accounting students through undergraduate and graduate university programs. Using Hurtt’s Professional Skepticism Scale (HPSS), we surveyed 432 students of the Poznań University of Economics, who follow either one of the accounting programs or the management program. Comparing the mean scores of first-year undergraduates from each program, who have been studying only for two weeks (initial level of skepticism), with the mean scores of the final-year students as proxies for the entry-level auditors (audit assistants), we calculated the change in the mean scores of students’ trait skepticism over four years of study. The results show that only the ACCA-accredited (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) accounting program significantly increased the level of trait skepticism of the accounting students in comparison to the control group and students who followed the standard accounting program. The robustness analysis shows that independent variables, such as age, the future job that subjects wish to occupy, and the length of professional experience, have no significant impact on the results obtained. However, that both gender and professional experience have a significant impact on the mean scores may be considered as variables supporting the change of professional skepticism within the four years of study
Author Maciej Ciołek (WZ / KR)
Maciej Ciołek,,
- Department of Accounting
, Izabela Emerling - Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny w Katowicach
Izabela Emerling,,
Journal seriesSustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, (N/A 70 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets1.45
Keywords in Polishsceptycyzm zawodowy; HPSS, audyting, nauka audytu, studia wyższe, nauka rachunkowości
Keywords in English professional skepticism; HPSS; auditing; audit education; university education; accounting education
ASJC Classification3305 Geography, Planning and Development; 2105 Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment; 2308 Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)70
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 70.0, 16-04-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 0.911; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 2.592 (2) - 2018=2.801 (5)
Citation count*3 (2020-09-12)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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